This article covers many of the cultural references that frequently come up on House, M.D.
Main article Sherlock Holmes connections
The most famous fictional detective of all time; a man with a gift for observation and a brilliant mind. However, Holmes was also socially challenged with a single committed friend. Acknowledged to be the model for Gregory House. House's address is also 221B Baker Street. There have also been references to his creator Arthur Conan Doyle (also a physician) and Doyle's mentor Joseph Bell. However, the great detective himself has never been as much as mentioned on the show.
Reuben SandwichEdit(Wikipedia link) House's favorite - a hot corned beef sandwich on rye bread, generally served with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing. First mentioned in The Socratic Method when he gets Luke Palmeiro to get him one so he can get him out of his mother's room. His father offers to buy him one in the cafeteria in Daddy's Boy. Ruby objects to using the name "Reuben" when Taub suggests it for their new child in Moving On by saying its a more appropriate name for a sandwich than a baby. House offers one to Wilson as a peace offering in Transplant, but Wilson gets mad at him soon after and tosses it into the trash.
The Usual SuspectsEdit(IMDB) (Wikipedia) A 1995 film about a crime gone wrong. Directed by Bryan Singer. Both House and Foreman have revealed the film's key plot point during the series.
Monster TrucksEdit(Wikipedia) A pickup truck with highly modified suspension. House and Wilson's favorite sport. In Sports Medicine, House scores two all access passes, but Wilson says he can't go because he's giving a speech at a conference. However, he finds out Wilson is lying - he's meeting Stacy Warner for dinner the same night. House asks Allison Cameron to go with him instead and they have a great time. In Dying Changes Everything, after Wilson leaves, House goes looking for a new friend and finds Dr. O'Shea likes monster trucks too. However, they fail to bond over it. In The Social Contract, Wilson pretends he doesn't like monster trucks because he plans to see his brother Danny Wilson the same night as the monster truck meet and he doesn't want to tell House the real reason why. In Office Politics, House quizzes Martha M. Masters about monster trucks to show her that her knowledge is limited. House rents a monster truck, "Collosus", to park in several handicapped parking spaces to take advantage of Cuddy's guilt over their breakup in Fall From Grace.
CasablancaEdit(IMDB) (Wikipedia) A 1942 film about a man and a woman. They once had a passionate love affair that ended suddenly. While the man is living his new life, the woman comes back into his life begging for his help for her husband. He turns her down. He has a change of heart and agrees to help her and her husband. However, he plots to get rid of the husband and run away with her. She's fine with that. However, in the end, he realizes she will be miserable with him and sends her on her way with her husband. In other words, it's the Housy story-arc. In Lines in the Sand, House paraphrases Rick's goodbye to Ilsa when saying goodbye to Ali. The first line of the main theme song of the movie gave the name to the episode You Must Remember This.
BlackadderEditBlackadder (Wikipedia) (IMDB - Third Series) (IMDB - Fourth Series) is a much beloved British comedy series which consists of four series of six episodes each, plus three specials. It was produced from 1982 to 1989. Hugh Laurie appeared as a guest star in two episodes of series 2, which was set in Elizabethan England. He stars as Prince George, the Prince Regent in series 3, which takes place during the reign of George III (who apparently suffered from porphyria). In series 4, set during World War I, he stars as Lieutenant The Honourable George Colthurst St. Barleigh. The series is referred to several times in the show. In Cane & Able, Allison Cameron tells Lisa Cuddy to come up with "a cunning plan". In Clueless, the show appears on House's TiVo. In Known Unknowns, House comes to the '80s party dressed in period costume from the 1780s during the reign of George III.
The United KingdomEdit(Wikipedia) The second-largest English speaking nation in the world. Birthplace of several actors on the series, most notably Hugh Laurie. Although Gregory House is an all-American boy, he can convincingly fake a British accent (The Socratic Method) and for protection against pranksters uses a cricket bat (Moving the Chains). Wilson affects a British accent when pretending to be House's neighbor to get Dominika her green card in Man of the House. House is seen with a Submarine Spitfire model in Bombshells.
(Wikipedia) (IMDB) A fairly attractive Mexican actress of Lebanese descent. In Deception, Dr. Imelda responds to a compliment by House by saying she's not quite as attractive. House also speaks highly of Salma in both Que Sera Sera and Perils of Paranoia
Moby-DickEdit(Wikipedia) A novel about a whaling captain's obsession over the whale that destroyed one of his legs. House, a man with a leg disability himself, is often called out for being obsessive about his cases by bringing the metaphor into play. In All In, it is used to point out House's inability to forget one of his lost cases, Esther Doyle. The same metaphor is used in Merry Little Christmas. Robert Sean Leonard did the voice of Herman Melville on an episode of American Experience.
Cindy McCauliff Edit
[IMDB]A character portrayed by Lisa Edelstein on the series Ally McBeal. Cindy was a male-to-female pre-operative transsexual. House makes several references through the series that Cuddy is really a transsexual, the first one being in Forever. In Daddy's Boy, House threatens to spread a rumor that Cuddy is really a transsexual. In Lockdown, House's fellows find a fake malpractice report where Cuddy suffered blood loss from a "penisectomy". In Small Sacrifices, House accuses Cuddy of lying about being a woman.
Pokemon was also referenced in season 8 episode 8